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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been waiting for a long time for a GM replacement for our Chrysler Town and Country so I
could use up my 3800 GM points. I believe I've found it in an Enclave. I 've been lurking for awhile
and enjoying the good info. It has helped me decide what options to order/look for. I am now a member
as I am ready to pull the trigger.

My question is on FWD vs AWD. I live in Iowa so snow is a factor. We also have an AWD Lexus RX 300
Because the Enclave is 5000 pounds, is FWD adequate in snow? I'm trying to balance the extra traction
vs the $2000 more for AWD plus the less highway mileage.

Anyone with FWD out there who has driving in snow with some thoughts? Thanks in advance.
 

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I can't answer your question as I think one would have to drive both FWD and AWD. There are some posts regarding snow on this forum that may help you decide. I wanted to tell you that my last car was a Chrysler Town and Country which I really loved. It was hard to let it go. It never gave me a moments trouble. My husband drove it over a mountain pass in Northern California in a snow storm and never once did it slip or slide, but, needing to be in that country periodically, I felt more comfortable purchasing an AWD. It took a little getting used to, but now that I have driven 500 miles in the Enclave, I absolutely love it. You will, too! ;D
 

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I went from an AWD RX-330 to the AWD Enclaves and love it! We had Ice & Snow and the cars had NO problem!
 

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Hawkclave said:
I have been waiting for a long time for a GM replacement for our Chrysler Town and Country so I
could use up my 3800 GM points. I believe I've found it in an Enclave. I 've been lurking for awhile
and enjoying the good info. It has helped me decide what options to order/look for. I am now a member
as I am ready to pull the trigger.

My question is on FWD vs AWD. I live in Iowa so snow is a factor. We also have an AWD Lexus RX 300
Because the Enclave is 5000 pounds, is FWD adequate in snow? I'm trying to balance the extra traction
vs the $2000 more for AWD plus the less highway mileage.

Anyone with FWD out there who has driving in snow with some thoughts? Thanks in advance.
Hawkclave Firstly, :welcome: and congrats on an intelligent decision!!
This subject has been kicked around quite a bit here. If you'd allow me to "boil it down" from memory..................Basically FWD is adequate in 90% of the situations we will meet on the roads, according to most members here. I agree. Most feel/have experienced 7-9 inches of snow/ice without incident. Awd drive will naturally help in the 10% of the time you MUST get out of your driveway and snow is 15" deep!! But bear in mind that the GROUND clearance on an Enclave is about 9" MAX!! So you must consider that too. You're not gonna plow snow, regardless ;)

The one resurfacing argument for AWD in your situation (and most others) is that with AWD, you can jump out into traffic more easily, even on icy roads, from a stop. The traction system in AWD is so pro-active it anticipates slippage and propels you forward easily, with VERY minor slip, if any. I've felt it! Also great in same rain soaked road situation. Minor, but concrete.

Naturally the 1 in a thousand times, an Import owner ( :angryfire:) cuts you off into a 20"snow drift, it would help also. Decide by where you drive (desolate/late at nite?)and how soon after a storm you MUST get out (are you a cop/nurse/doctor?) and if the extra initial $$$ (and tiny gas diff!) over say.....5 years is a big deal to your your wallet right here and now?

You'll be thrilled,either way :thumb: ;D
 

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If I lived in the snow belt or the North East, I would opt for AWD. Otherwise, on a vehicle this big, FWD should be just fine.

As far as wet weather performance, AWD had no advantage IMO. Just in snow. They both offer ABS, traction control, and skid control.

Tires are what makes or breaks someone in slippery situations, especially braking and accident avoidance.

AWD is what you will need to climb a steep driveway in a snowstorm, pulling a boat out of the water on a slippery ramp, that sort of thing.

TM
 

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I don't like FWD in the rain, at least our Sienna van. It was our first non-AWD vehicle in twenty years. It did have traction and stability control but we found the traction control had to kick-in a lot in the rain, leaving toll booths or having to rapidly enter a busy street, it was OK in the snow.
I'm not sure how the Enclave FWD handles in the rain, probably better due to heft but the Enclave with AWD may very well be the best foul weather car we have ever owned. That's saying something becasue we have had several SUVs, quattros and an Infiniti G35X.

My $.02...good luck!!
 

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I got the AWD because that what was on the dealers lot..............and it had everything else
we wanted. welcome to the site and good luck.
 

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Tin Man said:
If I lived in the snow belt or the North East, I would opt for AWD. Otherwise, on a vehicle this big, FWD should be just fine.

As far as wet weather performance, AWD had no advantage IMO. Just in snow. They both offer ABS, traction control, and skid control.

Tires are what makes or breaks someone in slippery situations, especially braking and accident avoidance.

AWD is what you will need to climb a steep driveway in a snowstorm, pulling a boat out of the water on a slippery ramp, that sort of thing.

TM
Gotta disagree about the rain comment. Tires DO matter but how many wheels are trying to propel you into traffic matters much more. ABS and Stabilitrac don't matter in this particular issue, (rain acceleration) since that's not their job. The FWD traction prevents excessive wheel spin, but you're still not going anywhere fast. I see you got the FWD. Try an AWD in rain someday. Believe me, on a slick blacktop side street, when you want to enter the traffic stream, AWD rules!

I agree with the rest of your comments and just want all the facts on the table :thumb:
 

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Smokin SRX said:
Gotta disagree about the rain comment. Tires DO matter but how many wheels are trying to propel you into traffic matters much more. ABS and Stabilitrac don't matter in this particular issue, (rain acceleration) since that's not their job. The FWD traction prevents excessive wheel spin, but you're still not going anywhere fast. I see you got the FWD. Try an AWD in rain someday. Believe me, on a slick blacktop side street, when you want to enter the traffic stream, AWD rules!

I agree with the rest of your comments and just want all the facts on the table :thumb:
And I agree 100% with what you say. :cheers:
 

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johnt26 said:
I don't like FWD in the rain, at least our Sienna van. It was our first non-AWD vehicle in twenty years. It did have traction and stability control but we found the traction control had to kick-in a lot in the rain, leaving toll booths or having to rapidly enter a busy street, it was OK in the snow.
I'm not sure how the Enclave FWD handles in the rain, probably better due to heft but the Enclave with AWD may very well be the best foul weather car we have ever owned. That's saying something becasue we have had several SUVs, quattros and an Infiniti G35X.

My $.02...good luck!!
Never had trouble with a rear wheel drive car even because I've had good tires. Probably the tires on your mini-van were not as good as they could have been.

TM
 

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Smokin SRX said:
Gotta disagree about the rain comment. Tires DO matter but how many wheels are trying to propel you into traffic matters much more. ABS and Stabilitrac don't matter in this particular issue, (rain acceleration) since that's not their job. The FWD traction prevents excessive wheel spin, but you're still not going anywhere fast. I see you got the FWD. Try an AWD in rain someday. Believe me, on a slick blacktop side street, when you want to enter the traffic stream, AWD rules!

I agree with the rest of your comments and just want all the facts on the table :thumb:
I've never heard of "rain acceleration" in any venue until this thread. Perhaps for such a large vehicle, it may matter due to its sheer inertia. The heaviness of the vehicle may be what makes AWD more important.

I remember our 4WD Suburban being very tricky on slippery surfaces, but that was more from its overall weight and stance, and perhaps the all season radials.

But I have been with 2WD on snows or very good all seasons on all 4 wheels with cars in extremely slippery conditions in the North East and had no trouble with traction, except when there is a lot of power at the tires and no engine above them. Perhaps this is why it might be better in an Enclave, but it was an AWD Durango (brand new one) that did a few 360's the other day in 32 degree wet conditions right in front of us, ending up on the median, while our Enclave was rock solid.

I would opt for AWD if the more powerful (as far as torque) diesel engine was put in. That I would agree with. But you won't find me "putting down the hammer" trying to get into traffic in slippery conditions either. ::)

TM
 

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Smokin SRX said:
Hawkclave Firstly, :welcome: and congrats on an intelligent decision!!
This subject has been kicked around quite a bit here. If you'd allow me to "boil it down" from memory..................Basically FWD is adequate in 90% of the situations we will meet on the roads, according to most members here. I agree. Most feel/have experienced 7-9 inches of snow/ice without incident. AWD drive will naturally help in the 10% of the time you MUST get out of your driveway and snow is 15" deep!! But bear in mind that the GROUND clearance on an Enclave is about 9" MAX!! So you must consider that too. You're not gonna plow snow, regardless ;)

The one resurfacing argument for AWD in your situation (and most others) is that with AWD, you can jump out into traffic more easily, even on icy roads, from a stop. The traction system in AWD is so pro-active it anticipates slippage and propels you forward easily, with VERY minor slip, if any. I've felt it! Also great in same rain soaked road situation. Minor, but concrete.

Naturally the 1 in a thousand times, an Import owner ( :angryfire:) cuts you off into a 20"snow drift, it would help also. Decide by where you drive (desolate/late at night?)and how soon after a storm you MUST get out (are you a cop/nurse/doctor?) and if the extra initial $$$ (and tiny gas diff!) over say.....5 years is a big deal to your your wallet right here and now?

You'll be thrilled,either way :thumb: ;D
I would say FWD would be adequate in 99% of situations (unless you live in the snow belt or the Northeast). AWD would have the advantage in perhaps more than 1%, but not be completely necessary.

I can't remember more than three instances where 4WD was very important:

1. a blizzard when we got onto a road that was closed the exit before and didn't know it.
2. same blizzard, but needed to back up a 300 yard icy ramp to avoid a jackknifed tractor trailer and
3. skiing in Vermont during a snow storm when snow equipment hadn't gotten to the area we were in.

All these incidents were in the snowy Northeast. We had a 17" snow storm around here 2 years ago that nothing would have helped. In PA during a 2 ft snowfall when the roads were fairly plowed, my RWD Miata with 4 snows and a Torsen ltd slip differential was great on packed snow and ice.

If I had to choose between excellent winter tires and AWD, I would pick the tires on a FWD car, but obviously under some conditions, both would be best, if not staying home!

TM
 

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I have had more than a few all wheel drive vehicles and have found them to be much better on ice, snow, and rainy surfaces than my 2 WD, either FWD or RWD.

I have been in an AWD Explorer going just fine and watched others that didn't have 4WD or AWD do 360s.

My partner just came out of a FWD and is now driving an AWD and he has noticed a BIG difference in the way the vehicle handles on the roads.

IMHO, AWD handles better on just about every surface.

Just my $.02.
 

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OKCCowboy said:
I have had more than a few all wheel drive vehicles and have found them to be much better on ice, snow, and rainy surfaces than my 2 WD, either FWD or RWD.

I have been in an AWD Explorer going just fine and watched others that didn't have 4WD or AWD do 360s.

My partner just came out of a FWD and is now driving an AWD and he has noticed a BIG difference in the way the vehicle handles on the roads.

IMHO, AWD handles better on just about every surface.

Just my $.02.
Its possible that the types of cars they were driving were not that good such as powerful rear wheel drive trucks or heavier mini vans.

Smaller cars seem to do better, probably due to less momentum, less power at the contact patch.

Also, has anyone had trouble with dry areas having an occasional rain, making it very slick from the oil on the road?

TM
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for the knowledgable input. That's what I like about this site-no agendas, just helpful advice.
It looks as if there is an AWD and a FWD just like we want in our area, including color, so we are going in tomorrow
and see whether we can do a dealer trade or just order one. Our local dealer has one of each in inventory for
potential trade. We're not in any hurry, so we could go either way.

Any ideas on differences in "deals" with ordering vs dealer trading?
 

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I got both of ours for $500 over invoice and then we got the conquest rebate on both vehicles.

Besides, ordering one you will be able to get EXACTLY what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks OKC. The unusual situation here is that both the AWD and the FWD vehicles in my area are EXACTLY
like I would order them. Also it appears that there was a recent factory price increase of about $500 which I would pay if I ordered. Then there is the Conquest rebate, which I would qualify for if still available. That might not be there in the 3 months it might take to order. So that's 1K difference potentially. Normally I order, too, but if a dealer trade can be worked out at a reasonable amount, I would go for that.

Additional thoughts?

Hawkclave
 

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All I can say is go for it! (Get the AWD!) :angel:
 

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Hawkclave said:
I have been waiting for a long time for a GM replacement for our Chrysler Town and Country so I could use up my 3800 GM points.
Not sure you can use all 3800 GM points on the Enclave...does anyone else here know?[/color]
 

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i say FWD is fine. we are in the same area of the country as you and we have two 4x4's and a FWD. the 4x4's have to be put in 4wd in minor snowy and icy conditions and the FWD is perfect never had a problem with it.:) i say save the money and get FWD! thats what we are doing...
 
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